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Retail Technology, Retail technology News

Smartphones drive retail prospects

Monday January 10 2011

Annual ForeSee Results report on mobile shopping shows adoption is growing by leaps and bounds here in the UK, as well as in the US

Annual ForeSee Results report on mobile shopping shows adoption is growing by leaps and bounds here in the UK, as well as in the US


ForeSee Results today at the National Retail Federation show being held in New York, released new research showing that consumers are using mobile phones more than ever for retail purposes.


As part of a study of nearly 10,000 visitors to the biggest e-retail websites in the UK (determined by revenue according to industry body IMRG), the customer experience analytics firm used a scientific, predictive methodology (the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) to examine the impact of mobile shopping trends on retailersí future business.


Kevin Ertell, vice president of retail strategy for ForeSee Results said the research found that the use of mobile phones to access companiesí websites, mobile websites and applications for shopping purposes is increasing dramatically in both the UK and the US, indicating that any retailer who is not wholeheartedly embracing the mobile trend is leaving money on the table for competitors.


Out of all the key findings, it emerged that shoppers were using mobile phones to access websites and apps more than ever before. Nearly a third (32%) of respondents had used their phone to access a retailer website and an additional 32% indicated they planned to access retailer websites or mobile apps by phone in the future.


Mobile purchase behaviour is exploding, according to the findings. A total of 8% of web shoppers said they had made a purchase from their phones during the Christmas season, compared to only 2% at this time last year. However, this figure still lags behind the US, but only by a little; where 11% of American shoppers said they had bought something on their mobile phone.


Smartphone multitasking fuels purchasing


The majority of shoppers who used their phones for retail purposes did so to compare price information (47%). Shoppers also used their phones to compare different products (34%), to look up product specifications (20%), and to view product reviews (15%).


Shoppers were also using their phones to look at competitor websites. While in physical stores, more than two-thirds of mobile shoppers (67%) used their phones to visit the storeís own website, but one-quarter (26%) used their phones to access a competitorís website. This proportion was up substantially from 2009, when only 17% of mobile shoppers accessed a competitorís site from within a store.


Despite this growth mobile sites and apps still failed to satisfy shoppers more than traditional websites. In general, shoppers rated their satisfaction with retail websites significantly higher (72 on the studyís 100-point scale) than their satisfaction with mobile experiences (apps and sites) (67). A similar score gap was present in the US, although scores for both websites (78) and mobile experiences (75) were higher.


Fuelling multichannel loyalty


Even so, good experiences with mobile sites and apps appear to have critical cross-channel impact. Shoppers who were highly satisfied with a mobile experience said they were 32% more likely to buy from that retailer online and 31% more likely to buy offline, as well as being far more likely to return to the main website, recommend it, and be loyal to the brand.


Ertell said: ďAnalysts are predicting that smartphone use will outpace feature phone use by the end of 2011, which means more people than ever before will have retailer websites, mobile websites, and retailer-supplied applications within armís reach any time, any place.


ďAs smartphone use increases, more customers will turn to the mobile channel to find price and product information before making a purchase. Whether or not a customer turns to a specific retailerís site or app will be dependent on availability and ease of use. Since satisfaction with mobile experiences drives critical customer behaviour, the measurement of satisfaction with websites, mobile websites, and mobile apps shoppers is a necessity.Ē